This contributed post is for informational purposes only. Please consult a business, financial and legal professional before making any decisions. We may earn money or products from the affiliate links in this post.
Ever since the release of Bitcoin, cryptocurrency and the opportunities presented by the Internet has received a lot of attention. Besides from being known as a controversial currency, Bitcoin is on the forefront of what we know as ‘blockchain’ – or simply the recording of transactions online.
As a small business owner, you might want to look into exactly what this technology can do for your business and how you can make use of it to improve efficiency, customer satisfaction and, ultimately, boost the profit of your business.
Here is a guide to how blockchains may help you to drive your startup forward. With time, it might even be an inevitable part of your everyday life so you might as well read up on it sooner rather than later – and preferably long before your competitors get to it.
When everything lifted off from the ground and into the sky, many business owners remained skeptical. It is, after all, digital rather than physical which leaves us without that sense of control we usually crave. Blockchain-driven cloud storage is just taking what we already know and love to another level – and Storj offers such storage while decreasing dependency.
It makes use of excess driver space so that users can store the traditional cloud 300 times over – kind of how you would rent out your home on Airbnb. If you have some spare space on your server, you may, in other words, be able to rent it out to other users and cash in. Considering that the world spends more than $22 billion on cloud storage, it’s pretty clear that this opportunity could provide users with quite the revenue stream in the future.
Blockchain is rooted in cryptocurrency, above all, it makes sense that business owners can utilize this to make payments to their employees. You may wonder why you would abandon your regular payroll system for something as vague as cryptocurrency, but the truth is that it might save your startup a lot of money.
First of all, you rid yourself of a third-party, meaning the bank, and thereby also slash the transaction costs. This is particularly relevant if your company regularly makes payments to international accounts or if it has a lot of contractors.
As we know, these transactions can be rather costly and even take much longer than national transactions do – so it’s about time we find something more efficient in terms of payroll systems. Bitwage claims to be the world’s first Bitcoin-based payroll service and it aims to save you and your employees both time and money – the most valuable assets in life.
Car and land titles
Blockchain makes processes a lot easier and faster; this is important when it comes to transferring titles such as car ownership and real estate. In the physical world, these things take time – and the bank will, of course, sit in the middle and take its share of transaction fees as well. With blockchain, it is effortless to provide your identity and there will be no disputes over it either. Yet, there is more to this technology than mere efficiency; with IHT Coin, for example, you’ll be able to partake in an entirely new way of asset management with complete transparency for the users.
By joining blockchain technology and real estate, the users, developers, and financial institutions are connected and able to make real estate transactions a part of the social credit system. The technology offers a solution to a host of digital identity problems as the users are able to seamlessly authenticated in an ‘irrefutable, immutable and secure manner.’ The only check necessary is, therefore, whether or not the transaction was signed by the correct private key.
If you don’t think cryptocurrency is as revolutionary as people claim it to be, this should be enough to convince you.
Smart contracts is actually not a new term – it goes as far back as to 1993 but only became a popular word in 2013 with the release of the Ethereum Project. It builds on a decentralized platform that features smart contracts or ‘self-automated computer programs that can carry out the terms of any contract.’ By using this platform, businesses are able to take advantage of the smart contracts to bypass regulations and even lower the costs of a subset of financial transactions. These contracts will, of course, be unbreakable.
If you’re having a hard time imagining what you may use it for, just think like Slock; the company made use of the application in order to allow its customers to rent bicycles where they will only be able to unlock a smart lock after both parties agreed to the terms of the contract. This will be a great advantage to businesses that have to handle a lot of contracts on a daily basis, such as retailers with many suppliers and even real estate agencies.
It takes away the tediousness of paperwork, enables your agreements and transactions to happen fluently, and your customers will undoubtedly be grateful for the time and money they save as they can simply sign and accept the contract wherever they are, knowing it is binding for both themselves and your company.
Last but not least, blockchains are able to act as a public ledger for a large number of devices. This means that there is no longer any need for a central control system and all of these numerous devices are allowed to communicate with each other autonomously. This is especially handy when it comes to software updates, eliminating bugs and managing energy.
IBM and Samsung have already teamed up for a concept known as ADEPT, by the way – which uses the blockchains to provide the backbone of a system in order to secure transactions. The future is, in other words, already here and you better get your business onboard before everyone else does.